Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Seattle Neighborhood Spotlight -- Pike Place Market

In the last few weeks, I have been previewing at a lot of condos downtown near Pike Place Market for an out-of-state buyer. I recently viewed a great historic Loft unit complete with a private rooftop deck with views of the Puget Sound.
What a great place to live -- and right across the street from the Market! Every time I am in this area I am reminded about what a wonderful bustling neighborhood it is. Fresh produce out your front door, views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mtns, the smell and allure of gourmet restaurants, theater, and live music, the sights and sounds of all the outdoor performers, vendors, and eclectic shops. Ah, what a great place to live! But don't take my word for it, here's another video (thanks to about Pike Place Market -- and of course -- the flying fish!

Links for more info:
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Fish Market
Market History
Unexpected Productions

Homes currently for sale near Pike Place Market (as of 4/19/06)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Seattle Rental Market Tightening

Apartment hunters beware! Rentals in the Puget Sound region are getting tougher to find, and prices are going up! According to a recent article in the Seattle Times, Puget Sound regional vacancy rate is 4.6% - down from 6.5% a year ago. Average rents have climbed 4% in this past year.

There are a number of factors causing this trend. One is the growing economy -- 50,000 jobs added last year and potentially as many this year -- continues to fuel the demand for rental homes.

Increase in home prices is another factor. Many potential home-buyers are opting to stay put and rent an equal or better home for much less than the cost of a mortgage. Also, the high demand and increase in home prices has caused a tremendous surge in condominium conversions. Last year alone we saw 4,000 apartment units converted to condominiums. This decrease of available apartments puts the squeeze on renters looking for affordable space.

With home prices continuing to rise and the slow but constant rise in interest rates, many would-be homebuyers may soon be priced out of the market. The rental market will likely continue to tighten....with prices getting higher and more competition for renters.

Monday, April 10, 2006

$405,000 -- Median Home Price in King County!

Here's a recent article from the Seattle Times that talks about current market conditions in our area. March home-sales numbers were released last week by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. They show the median closed price of King County single-family homes has shot up almost 12 percent in the past year, reaching $405,000 last month (and up from $392,950 in February.) The median price of a condo in King County rose 21% to $249,950.

Downtown Seattle to get Taller?

Last week Seattle City Council unanimously approved a measure that will allow building heights to rise in much of downtown Seattle.

"It is a milestone today, and it is an important turning point," said city councilman Peter Steinbrueck, who crafted changes to a proposal advanced by Mayor Greg Nickels last year. "We will do more with this legislation than change the look of downtown. ... We're going to change the feel of downtown and some of the dynamics of downtown."
The measure also included requirements for affordable housing, green buildings, and underground parking. City Council is also working on other issues to improve downtown livability. In the planning stages are: a major park in Belltown, providing tax-breaks to developers targeting moderate-income residents, preserving historic buildings, and a possible elementary school in the city center.
Read more about Seattle City Council's Downtown Zoning and Livability Plan. Here's is another link to the downtown zoning changes.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Seattle Neighborhood Spotlight -- Ballard

Thanks again to for providing these great Seattle neighborhood videos. Ballard is a neighborhood full of its original Scandinavian heritage and local character. It is growing rapidly and has quickly become one of Seattle's most trendy yet casual and laid-back neighborhoods. Enjoy this video narrated by a local musician.

Here are links to some of the local attractions mentioned in the video:
The Tractor Tavern
Ballard Farmer's Market
Hattie's Hat
Golden Gardens Park

What's your favorite thing about Ballard?